You’re Stronger Now

By: Rekita Chenault

It was the day of my brother’s graduation from high school. I was so proud of him. I had my day planned out around his special event. I had to get my hair done, after that go pick up my mom and dad. My boyfriend at the time was also coming with me.  

I was hoping that I wasn’t making a bad decision by picking them up. Both of them had just finished rehab due to drugs, specifically crack. I remember when I took care of my brothers and sister, by cooking them breakfast, washing their clothes, waking them up for school in the morning and more during my mom and dad’s relapses. They would stay up all night and hit the pipe, and during the day, just sleep. I knew if I didn’t help my siblings, they wouldn’t know what to do.  

Our parents were very paranoid while on that stuff. They would grab the remote control from us when we were watching tv and tell us to put the gun down whenever they would smoke crack. A lot of times, they would leave for hours and not tell us where they were going. I would wipe the many tears that would fall from my brother’s and sister’s eyes and tell them I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know when, but what I did know is that everything would be okay.  

As I came out of my deep thoughts, I realized that I needed to hurry up and get to the hair salon, so I wasn’t late. My boyfriend grabbed the keys to the car, I grabbed my purse and we left. After I got my hair done, we headed to go and pick up my mom and dad. “I pray everything goes smooth today,” I told my boyfriend. “It will. Just breathe and hope for the best,” he told me as he kissed my forehead.  

Once we made it to my parent’s house, I knocked on the door. About 2 minutes went by and still no response. I knocked even harder the second time around and finally my mom came to the door. Her eyes were huge, her hair was a mess and she still had on pajamas.  

“Oh my God mom, you’ve got to be kidding me. Not today,” I said to her as my eyes started to water. I knew she was back doing drugs. I could tell. “Where’s dad?” I asked her. “He’s not here. Don’t you start hounding me. I’m a grown woman!” She said as she picked up a glass full of water. “I’ll throw this at you if you don’t leave me alone! Leave, both of you!” My mom screamed.  

“Fine! If you don’t care enough to leave the drugs alone, so you can function as a normal human being and come to your son’s graduation, I have no problem leaving you alone! Let’s get the hell out of here!” I yelled to my boyfriend. “You don’t have to tell me twice,” he said as he gently grabbed my hand and we started heading back to the car.  

I was so horrified. I knew my brother was going to be disappointed. It was just me and my boyfriend at my brother’s graduation out of the entire family. We took pictures and cheered him on as his name was called for him to walk up and receive his diploma. I still remember the look in my brother’s eyes as I had to break the bad news that our mom and dad didn’t make it. I didn’t even have to explain why. He already knew.  

When I look back at situations such as this, and look at where I’m at now, I know the only way I made it was by the grace of God.  

So much pain involved, yet I endured. Not only that, but I chose to be happy when it felt like the world was crashing around me. When I’m challenged in life, I remember all that I’ve been through and I say to myself if I made it through all of that, I can make it through anything. 

2 replies on “You’re Stronger Now”

Thanks for sharing this life experience. Tough love is tough. I am glad you were there for your brother as you have been all along.

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